Most common gun for Confederate Ironclads


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#22
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Note that 32pdr MLR were exactly that -32pdr SB bored ad rifled. If banded they were often referred to as 6.4", confusing them with Brooke guns of the same calibre which were of course brand new castings to his specification. There were also rifled 42pdr SB 1845 pattern which are called 7" MLR, but these of course aren't Brooke guns either.
To confuse the matter further James Eason & Bros also rifled an unknown number of 8" Columbiads at Charleston, none of which (it says here ) found their way into the CSN. It is my belief that one or more did so.
Hi Rebel. Just a comment on ordnance for Manassas. Her armament as a Privateer and at Head of Passes was a Naval loaner. I've seen it claimed as a 9",or a 64-lb. It proved to be overkill based upon space requirements and couldn't be reloaded underway. In February of 1862 Hollins ordered it replaced with a 32-lb carronade. I'm interested that you list the second gun as a 32-lb howitzer. The US Navy had produced their own version of a carronade called a 'gunade'. It had trunions for higher elevation. A number of these guns were used as bastard howitzers by the CSA. This gun was used twice at the Forts, securing hits both times, but the ring bolts limiting recoil gave way and the gun ended up on its side, unusable. The powder charges for it were kept under Lt. Warley's bunk, implying that Manassas did not have a dedicated magazine.
 
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#23
O.K. I found it.
Rifling of Smooth Bore Cannon
With the fall of the Norfolk Naval Yard to Virginia State troops, the south received a windfall of nearly 1000 naval cannon held by the U.S. Navy in storage. A number of the guns were considered obsolescent. There were large numbers of the varied 32-lb cannon family and it was soon recognized that the "long" 57 cwt guns might be rebored, rifled, and turned into long range artillery pieces. Some were "banded" or reinforced with one or more iron bands heat-shrunk over the combustion chamber of the gun. Just how much a gun could be rifled is detailed in a letter from the Engineer Bureau at Richmond, Va., dated August 22, 1861 to a Captain Lockett of the Corps of Engineers at Mobile, Ala, "...The Secretary of War directs that the 32-pounders at Forts Morgan and Gaines be rifled, as proposed by Messrs. States & Co., of Mobile. It is presumed that a certain proportion of them should be excepted and be kept for firing round and grape. The mode of rifling pursued here is substantially this: For a 3-inch bore one twist in ten feet, and for larger calibers in the same ratio. This would give for the 32-pounders one twist in twenty-one feet four inches. There are six grooves, the lands and grooves being about equal. The depth of the latter for an 8-inch gun is one-tenth of an inch. For a 32-pounder they might be a trifle shallower. The twist is uniform. The rifled motion is imparted by a wedging-ring of brass or pewter at the rear end of the shot, wedged into the grooves by explosive force. This ring may be two inches wide, one-quarter inch thick at the rear edge, and being very thin in front. It is cast on, and the shot has grooves or cavities on its conical part to retain the ring. But the details of the shot will be forwarded to you by the Ordnance Bureau..." (OR Series I, vol 52, Part 2, pg 131.
There is no question that at least one shop in Houston was capable of such work, as two (some sources say three) crude rifled guns were made there from the paddle-wheel shafts of the wrecked Federal gunboat Westfield.
 

rebelatsea

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#24
O.K. I found it.
Rifling of Smooth Bore Cannon
With the fall of the Norfolk Naval Yard to Virginia State troops, the south received a windfall of nearly 1000 naval cannon held by the U.S. Navy in storage. A number of the guns were considered obsolescent. There were large numbers of the varied 32-lb cannon family and it was soon recognized that the "long" 57 cwt guns might be rebored, rifled, and turned into long range artillery pieces. Some were "banded" or reinforced with one or more iron bands heat-shrunk over the combustion chamber of the gun. Just how much a gun could be rifled is detailed in a letter from the Engineer Bureau at Richmond, Va., dated August 22, 1861 to a Captain Lockett of the Corps of Engineers at Mobile, Ala, "...The Secretary of War directs that the 32-pounders at Forts Morgan and Gaines be rifled, as proposed by Messrs. States & Co., of Mobile. It is presumed that a certain proportion of them should be excepted and be kept for firing round and grape. The mode of rifling pursued here is substantially this: For a 3-inch bore one twist in ten feet, and for larger calibers in the same ratio. This would give for the 32-pounders one twist in twenty-one feet four inches. There are six grooves, the lands and grooves being about equal. The depth of the latter for an 8-inch gun is one-tenth of an inch. For a 32-pounder they might be a trifle shallower. The twist is uniform. The rifled motion is imparted by a wedging-ring of brass or pewter at the rear end of the shot, wedged into the grooves by explosive force. This ring may be two inches wide, one-quarter inch thick at the rear edge, and being very thin in front. It is cast on, and the shot has grooves or cavities on its conical part to retain the ring. But the details of the shot will be forwarded to you by the Ordnance Bureau..." (OR Series I, vol 52, Part 2, pg 131.
There is no question that at least one shop in Houston was capable of such work, as two (some sources say three) crude rifled guns were made there from the paddle-wheel shafts of the wrecked Federal gunboat Westfield.
Thank you George
That explains where the ordnance for the vessels completed but not commissioned at Mobile probably originated, and the weapons I could not trace to Selma or Tredegar. I wonder if Easons at Charleston used the same rifling in their 32and 42pdr barrels. The Rifling and banding scheme in the 10" Columbiads appears to be unique to Easons.
Hi Rebel. Just a comment on ordnance for Manassas. Her armament as a Privateer and at Head of Passes was a Naval loaner. I've seen it claimed as a 9",or a 64-lb. It proved to be overkill based upon space requirements and couldn't be reloaded underway. In February of 1862 Hollins ordered it replaced with a 32-lb carronade. I'm interested that you list the second gun as a 32-lb howitzer. The US Navy had produced their own version of a carronade called a 'gunade'. It had trunions for higher elevation. A number of these guns were used as bastard howitzers by the CSA. This gun was used twice at the Forts, securing hits both times, but the ring bolts limiting recoil gave way and the gun ended up on its side, unusable. The powder charges for it were kept under Lt. Warley's bunk, implying that Manassas did not have a dedicated magazine.
Noted thanks. I trust Lt Warley was a non smoker - in bed at least !
 
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#25
Thank you George
That explains where the ordnance for the vessels completed but not commissioned at Mobile probably originated, and the weapons I could not trace to Selma or Tredegar. I wonder if Easons at Charleston used the same rifling in their 32and 42pdr barrels. The Rifling and banding scheme in the 10" Columbiads appears to be unique to Easons.

Noted thanks. I trust Lt Warley was a non smoker - in bed at least !
Hi John: I don't know what the Easons were doing in terms of rifling. If they were doing 42 pdrs then Ordnance records from the Army at Charleston might be useful. I don't know if Warley was a smoker, but I doubt anyone was allowed to smoke below decks. Incidentally, David Porter gave an account on the final sinking of Manassas close to the mortar schooners noting that there was a muted explosion just before. The fires set by the Confederates off the forts apparently reached his bunk area and seems to have blown a hole through her hull. Based upon later testimony, I think Warley had mixed feelings about her loss. Nobody likes to lose their ship but Warley apparently found her too slow and badly protected to be taken seriously. He was also ambitious and not sure whether his assignment to the ram had been good for his career. On the other hand, he ended up with Albemarle and ironclad commands seem to have been a sign someone in Richmond thought you competent.
 



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